Fiscal Impact of Worsening High School Dropout Rate

Regular Voice readers know that South Carolina’s public school dropout rate of 51 percent is not only among the nation’s worst, it is also the county’s most misreported.

Studies by the South Carolina Policy Council (here) and the Jim Self Center on the Future (here) have shown that South Carolina’s Department of Education radically misreports dropout data and that taxpayers in the state pay hundreds of millions in taxes for corrections and entitlement programs that are directed toward drop-outs unable to obtain or hold jobs.

Now, members of the national media are drawing more attention to this serious national problem.

The Wall Street Journal examined “The High School Dropout’s Economic Ripple Effect.”

“Some new studies show far fewer students completing high school with diplomas than long believed. “Whereas the conventional wisdom had long placed the graduation rate around 85%, a growing consensus has emerged that only about seven in 10 students are actually successfully finishing high school”

The Associated Press reported that “Kids are less likely to graduate than parents.”

“Your child is less likely to graduate from high school than you were, and most states are doing little to hold schools accountable, according to a study by a children’s advocacy group.

More than half the states have graduation goals that don’t make schools get better, the Education Trust says in a report released Thursday.And dropout rates haven’t budged: One in four kids is dropping out of high school.”


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